Online Marketing Tips

Tom Hymes
Recently, XBIZ World Magazine asked several industry players "What is your favorite online marketing, sales and/or advertising technique?"

Here's what they had to say:

One of my favorite marketing techniques is Niche Marketing, but not in the way most of us think of it. We use niche marketing for our websites, sure, but I like to use it in the industry community. By attending events with small, intimate groups, association events, smaller dinners or even smaller shows allows me to better connect with more people. Less is more. If I'm at an event with 1,000 people I might speak briefly to half or a quarter, but at a small dinner of 15, I'm able to better interact with all and more likely to form lasting relationships.

— Rainey Stricklin

Having worked in media for many years, I've seen and sampled almost every marketing vehicle, and my current favorite is the blog. I began publishing on XBIZ blogs on a whim but have quickly become addicted to the venue, and recognize that the relevant word still holds great power used judiciously and with purpose. To encourage education, spur innovation, recognize greatness and contribute to the greater global discussion – all while promoting my company and our clients… what in business could be more motivational or more fun?

— JoeD, Webbilling

Test, measure, rinse, repeat. The great thing about online marketing is that you can almost always track/quantify the results. This allows you to try multiple variations or approaches simultaneously and compare the effectiveness of any variation. I consider multivariate or even basic split testing to be a sort of meta-technique that enhances almost every other technique.

— Jeff Random,

I like a multi-prong approach where the marketing message is seen in many forms in order to reinforce in the viewers mind the idea that the product is popular. Having a website with info about the product is part of the hype, but it is also the ultimate selling tool, since it delivers info on the product and the value of it, and then the call to action to purchase the product. Advertising on search engines gets the name of the product out there and drives sales, as does using advertising networks and affiliate programs that run your banners. Running print newspaper) and radio/satellite advertising can also help get the word out if the product works for that kind of campaign. If you have a great product, advertising helps to get people to see it, and when they buy and like it, they will tell others (i.e. viral marketing). You can have a crappy product and still and make money in the short term through viral marketing but negative feedback can also threaten any long term growth. The bottom line is to always make sure that the marketing messages reinforce and complement each other and use different marketing channels.

— Brandon Shalton,

It's really hard to choose between guerrilla and viral marketing. They are both great forms to use when marketing on traditional platforms or in lieu of them. Combining the two when done right, can really make an impact. I think having a solid product and campaign is more important, and getting the message across can be as creative as you want, as long as you're clear what the product is.

— Jenni Dahling,